Pumpkin spice, meet your new friends -- apple, cranberries, carrots and cream cheese. Together, these flavors play nice in this hands-off oven-baked pancake that's perfect for a brunch party or holiday crowd.
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 500 degrees F.
Whisk the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, salt and 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar in a large bowl until well combined. Drizzle in 6 tablespoons of the butter and stir to combine.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and 4 teaspoons of the pumpkin pie spice in a second large bowl until well combined. Fold the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture with a silicone spatula until just combined (it's OK if there are a few lumps). Reserve 2 tablespoons of the batter in small bowl and set aside.
Brush a 13 1/2-by-18 1/2-inch rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Pour in the batter, using the spatula to smooth out the top. Tap the tray on the counter a few times to settle the batter.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the caramel, stir until well coated and set aside.
Add the brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin pie spice to the reserved batter and stir to combine. Set aside.
In separate small bowl, mix together the carrots, raisins, 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
In another small bowl, stir together the cranberries, orange zest and juice and remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Set aside.
Arrange the baking sheet with a long side facing you. Visualize the pan divided into 4 equal quadrants. Each quadrant will hold a different pancake topping. Arrange the apples over the surface of the upper left quadrant. Next to it on the right, dollop the brown sugar-pumpkin pie mixture, about 1 teaspoon at a time. (You want to see a lot of brown dots sitting on top of the batter.) Using a toothpick or small skewer, swirl the mixture into the batter, making a marbled pattern.
Sprinkle the carrot mixture over the lower left quadrant under the apples. Use a butter knife or offset spatula to gently mix the carrots into the batter. Sprinkle the cranberry mixture in the lower right quadrant, discarding any extra liquid.
Put the sheet pan in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 400 degrees F. Bake, rotating halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center of the pancake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
Spread the cream cheese over the carrot section using a butter knife or offset spatula. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the confectioners' sugar, followed by the remaining 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.
Stir together the remaining 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl and drizzle over the swirled pumpkin spice section.
Serve the pancakes with maple syrup and whipped cream.
When measuring flour, we spoon into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)
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